“It won’t happen.” He was adamant that he could prevent the upcoming disruption. Unfortunately for him, he was wrong.
I work with individuals and organizations to think bigger and reach higher, often finding the opportunities in the midst of disruption. One of the ways I do that is to help those leaders in Human Resources, Management, and Entrepreneurial Enterprises anticipate the threats and the opportunities.
Last week we discussed how we can communicate disruption. We continue that theme this week as we examine a true story of an individual that refused to see the current disruption. Within the story, we see how our language reveals our attitude, goals, and knowledge of the current trends and future opportunities.
Let me tell you the story.
Recently I met a personal injury attorney and was engaging him prior to a presentation. The conversation led to this exchange.
I initiated the conversation with, “Law is going through quite a disruption, isn’t it?”
“Aren’t you seeing quite a few changed due to automation and Artificial Intelligent advances?”
“Nothing to speak of.”
“That’s interesting. You do think it is coming, don’t you?”
“So you are saying the disruption won’t affect the legal industry?”
“No, it won’t affect us.”
“Really? It’s coming to every other profession and industry. Why not law?”
“Because as lawyers, we control disruption. If we don’t make it legal. It won’t happen.”
What do you say to that?
By the communicatin he used, we can tell his attitude and goals. We also get an indication of the level of his knowledge about disruption. Let’s take a look.
He honestly thought he could control the disruption that is already unfolding. He may be surprised to learn that automation and A.I. make the law one of the 7 industries most likely to be disrupted. Why? Because transactional law is a repetitive process that can be automated. Much of what transactional attorneys do is boilerplate work. Why can’t software replicate that?
He also doesn’t understand that disruption won’t be outlawed because it brings changes that most people want. Disruption is such an improvement that people don’t want to go back to the way it was previously. So to think that anyone can pass a law to prevent their industry from being disrupted is misguided. if not irresponsible.
Later in the conversation, he noted that “people will always need lawyers.” That is true but will they need as many? With automation and A.I. replicating the human process, we won’t need as many lawyers or paralegals or legal secretaries. We can see from his attitude that he was unwilling to see that.
His parting comment made me chuckle because I’ve heard it before and know that is the underlying attitude that leaves many people wondering what happened after a disruption. “Well, if that does happen, I just hope I’m retired by then.” With that, we see that his ultimate goal is maintaining his current success and not looking to the future.
Many believe they can hang on to the old ways just long enough to retire. In other words, “I won’t do anything to adapt because I’m not willing to work that hard. I have it too good right now.”
That is attitude and goal unfortunate and misguided. How much energy will it really take? I have found that those who embrace the current disruption find the exhilarating energy to do great things. They love
- Doing more with less energy and resources.
- Exploring, connecting and creating.
- Living instead of just trying to survive.
Our attorney friend enjoyed his success and didn’t want things to change. That is understandable. But refusing to acknowledge continual change and significant disruption endangers the comfortable success you are currently enjoying.
We have four choices.
- IGNORE IT, hoping to survive. Do you really want to take that chance?
- FIGHT IT, thinking we can delay or prevent it. Do you really think that will work?
- EMBRACE IT, and welcome the great opportunities. Isn’t that a better long-term decision?
- ANTICIPATE IT and find the best opportunities. Isn’t that even better yet?
What is your attitude about disruption? Will it endanger your current and future success?
Loren Murfield, Ph.D.
I work with leaders and organizations think bigger and reach higher to find breakthrough success. This is a process that I can help you learn. Begin the process today by contacting me.
Embedded within this process is an attitude of compassion. Start learning how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.”